Downey: Cross-race role could cause uproar

March 8, 2008 at 6:26 PM
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HOLLYWOOD, March 8 (UPI) -- Hollywood actor Robert Downey Jr. says he knew donning makeup to look like a black man for his new film "Tropic Thunder" meant risking a public uproar.

"Iron Thunder" is a movie about a movie -- described as the story of a group of actors making a war movie who become involved in actual hostilities. Downey plays one of the actors -- a white man cast in a role written specifically for a black actor, who decides to play the war-movie character as a black actor.

He told Britain's Daily Telegraph his choice could be taken the wrong way if not done correctly.

"If it's done right, it could be the type of role you called Peter Sellers to do 35 years ago," he said. "If you don't do it right, we're going to hell."

Blogs have already featured debates on the matter, with some critics accusing Downey of stealing a role from a black actor and others defending his decision as satire.

Ben Stiller, who directed the film, told the newspaper he has "no idea how people would respond to it."

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